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Mr Shorten is expected to nominate on Friday at Labor’s first caucus meeting since the election with the backing of the Labor right faction,

 

But members of Labor’s Left are appealing to Anthony Albanese to contest the top job under new rules which give grassroots members a say.

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But whoever is elected leader, the first item on the agenda is likely to be the carbon tax.

 

The incoming Coalition government says the result at the federal election gives it a mandate to scrap the carbon tax.

 

However, a split is developing within the Labor Party over whether to allow the necessary Coalition legislation through parliament.

 

Labor’s support in the Senate is needed if the Coalition wants to repeal the tax before the new Senate sits in July next year.

Some senior Labor figures have already indicated they’ll oppose the legislation.

 

But, Labor MP Nick Champion has told the ABC he thinks the legislation should be passed, to show the public how much of a disaster the Coalition’s policy is.

“I think that we should do this because I think the policy would be a disaster. I think it would see emissions rise. I think it would see electricity prices rise. I think it would see us not meet our carbon targets. And I think it would waste three billion dollars in the direct action scheme. Given that it would be a policy disaster I think it would be a disaster for Tony Abbott, I think it would be a disaster for the Liberal Party and it would hasten their demise. and in effect I believe if the Liberal Party want to hang themselves well, we should give them as much rope as they need.”

 

Former Trade Minister Richard Marles says questions of mandate have to be considered by Labor as well.

Mr Marles says Labor shouldn’t back away from its policy of putting a price on carbon, and it should continue to oppose the Coalition’s so-called direct action policy to reduce carbon emissions.

 

However, he also says Labor in opposition has to choose what policy battles it fights.

 

“The direct action is a silly policy. There is not an expert outside the Liberal Party who thinks it’s anything other than a lemon. So we need to think about all of that. On the other hand it is right we do need to acknowledge the fact that Tony Abbott won the election and we lost. And we need to face that reality and questions of mandate are issues that we need to consider. And we do need to be choosing our battles very carefully when we are in opposition.”

 

Labor MP Michelle Rowlands has told Sky News she won’t support the Coalition government move to scrap the carbon tax.

 

She says the Coalition’s direct action policy, which isn’t strongly supported by frontbencher, Malcolm Turnbull.

 

“It’s an absolute fig leaf according to Malcolm Turnbull. He knows it is. They can’t even find one person, one person to explain what it is. Other than planting trees and magic soil. I’m not voting for a policy about magic trees and planting trees and magic soil. Look I believe in markets, I believe in markets and this is a market based mechanism that we have put in place. And I would have thought the Liberal Party would support markets.”

 

And the Greens’ Deputy Leader Adam Bandt is urging whoever becomes new Labor leader not to back away from the carbon tax.

 

Mr Bandt says Labor needs to demonstrate to the Australian community that it does stick to its policies.

 

“We are seeing some very worrying signs from Labor. I want to make it clear to whoever ends up leading the Labor Party, whether it’s Bill Shorten or Anthony Albanese, if Labor does not stand for protecting the climate change legislation that it passed it will lose significant support in the community. Labor needs to stand for something.”

 

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